In Washington Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, “checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Wednesday night to obtain treatment for severe depression,” according to Adam Jentleson, his chief of staff.
Although though John has had depression on and off throughout his life, it has just recently gotten worse, according to Jentleson.
According to a close senior assistant, Fetterman will probably be in inpatient treatment for severe depression for “a few weeks,” and although physicians are experimenting with several drugs, it will take some time for them to find the right dosage.
The staffer detailed Fetterman’s difficulty adjusting to his new reality and said that the senator has struggled with issues about his self-worth based on talks the aide has had with the senator about the difficulties he has had since his stroke.
Prior to winning the very difficult Pennsylvania Senate campaign last year, Fetterman had a stroke. This month, according to his office, he was sent to the hospital after feeling dizzy, but further testing ruled out another stroke.
The Attending Physician of the US Congress, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, assessed John on Monday. Dr. Monahan suggested hospitalization at Walter Reed yesterday. John consented, and he is voluntarily undergoing therapy, according to a statement released by Jentleson on Thursday. The Walter Reed medical staff examined John and informed us that he is receiving the treatment he need and will soon return to normal.
A senior assistant said that this week, Fetterman appeared to be becoming “more and more restrained with employees,” and that the “withdrawn tone of it” alarmed those who knew him well.
The assistant remarked, “This isn’t who he was when he was early in recovery” from the May stroke. This is a very different kind of beast.
Resignation “was never mentioned, not even on the table in any respect,” the aide continued.
According to the American Stroke Association, depression is frequently experienced following a stroke. It may be the consequence of psychological adaptation to the stress of the incident or chemical changes in the brain that make it difficult to feel pleasant feelings.
According to Dr. Lee Schwamm, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who is not involved in Fetterman’s care, post-stroke depression is a relatively prevalent condition. According to estimates, up to a third of stroke victims will experience sadness at some time following their stroke.
Lee pointed out that hospitalization for severe depression is significantly less prevalent than it was in Fetterman’s case.
Given where he started from, Fetterman “had a life-threatening stroke, extraordinary treatment, and amazing recovery, but has been under extraordinary stress and demands on him from the moment his stroke happened, and his recovery has occurred in the scrutiny of the public eye, and those are all recipes for behavioral health disorders,” Lee said.
Gisele Barreto Fetterman, the senator’s wife, tweeted on Thursday: “There’s probably no one who wants to talk about his own health less than John after everything he’s gone through in the last year. I’m really proud of him for asking for assistance and receiving the necessary treatment.
She also asked that the family’s privacy be respected.
A short while later, she asked for their understanding while her family navigated the road to recovery in an email to supporters that NBC News was able to get. The children will always come first for us. I never try to hide my feelings, and today is no different. Like any wife and mother would be, I am sad and concerned.
Joseph Biden, the president, tweeted Fetterman on Friday with the following message: “John, Gisele — Jill and I are thinking of your family today. Every day, millions of individuals battle depression, frequently in solitude. It takes strength and courage to seek the help you require. We appreciate your setting an excellent example.
Several of Fetterman’s other senators have also sent their best wishes and commended him for asking for assistance.
In a recent interview, Connecticut senator Chris Murphy expressed his admiration for Fetterman’s bravery in seeking medical attention.
Murphy praised John for his “courageous” decision to take responsibility for his own treatment. He’s going to be a fantastic senator for the United States, but in order to serve our citizens in Washington, D.C., to the best of our abilities, we must all put our health first.
On Twitter, Senate Majority Leader and New Yorker Charles Schumer lent his support, writing: “Millions of Americans, like John, deal with depression every day. I’m anticipating his soon-to-arrive return to the Senate.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, stated on Twitter that it’s crucial to look after your mental health and that asking for assistance when you need it requires a lot of strength.
Moreover, Fetterman’s colleague Pennsylvania senator and Democrat Robert Casey expressed his pride in Fetterman for “receiving the care he needs.”
Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota tweeted that seeking “help when you need it is a show of strength, not weakness.” Sen. Tina Smith has spoken on the Senate floor about her personal struggles with depression.
Sen. John Reed of Rhode Island stated it “A large man must confess when he needs assistance. Sen. Fetterman is a strong, valiant man.”